Press Release

Press Release

25 years with puppets in Istanbul

The International Istanbul Puppet Festival, which will be held for the 25th time this year, is preparing to blow a different theatre wind in Istanbul

The International Istanbul Puppet Festival, whose artistic director is Cengiz Özek, will open its curtains between 25 October – 5 November this year with the slogan “25 in 100”. In the festival, which is preparing to celebrate its 25th anniversary in the 100th anniversary of the Republic, 10 plays from 8 countries will meet with the audience. The festival will also include 8 plays by 6 troupes from Turkey. A total of 51 performances will take place in the festival, which will also include film screenings, workshops, interviews, as well as a comprehensive Karagöz Figures Exhibition.

The plays that will participate in the festival from abroad this year are as follows “Mr Kaspar and His Strange Family” by Alfa Thatre from Czechia, “Men Love Tulle” by Compagnia Follemente from Italy and “Solo” by Compagnia Walter Broggini also from Italy, “History of Flight” by MarkusZinhaz Puppet Thetare from Hungary and “Room” by Slovenian company Nebo Theatre. From outside Europe, “Buffalo” and “Cheerful Puppets” to be performed by puppet artist Diego Ugalde from Mexico as well as “Magic in the Palace” to be performed by Karakalpakstan State Puppet Theatre from Karakalpakstan Autonomous Republic of Uzbekistan will meet the audience.

The plays from Turkey that will participate in the festival this year are as follows: “Loop: Trails” by Çağrı Yılmaz, two plays by Theatre Gülgeç, one for adults (“The Recent Past of Anger”) and one for children (“The Garden of Turunç”), and “My Little Star”, a black theatre production by IBB City Theatres.

In the festival, a special section is dedicated to Karagöz, the traditional Turkish shadow theatre. Cengiz Özek will perform the Karagöz plays “Garbage Monster” and “Enchanted Tree”, while Aytek Önal will present the show “Fish Bench”.

In addition to Karagöz performances, film screenings, workshops and talks, there will also be a Karagöz Figures Exhibition to be opened by Cengiz Özek at the Turşucuzade Mansion Sıbyan Mektebi, which was put into service after the restoration of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.

The performance venues of this year’s festival are as follows: Akbank Sanat, Alan Kadıköy, Fişekhane, DasDas, Turşucuzade Mansion Sıbyan Mektebi and Mall of Istanbul. While the performances at Turşucuzade Mansion and Mall of Istanbul are free of charge, tickets for the performances at other venues can be purchased from ( for DasDas).

More information about the festival and full programme details can be found at